• May 21, 2024
  • 3:54 PM

The United State Marine Corps celebrates its Birthday on November 10

The U.S. Marine Corps was formed as a security force of sorts, serving as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for protecting the ship’s officers. Sometimes this was evident with the Marine’s quarters positioned between the Officer’s quarters and the rest of the ship – to serve as a buffer between them and the rest of the crew.

The Marines have always been recognized and utilized for their incredible skill at amphibious tactics – able to mount offensive and defensive maneuvers on land and sea. Although not necessarily unique to the Marines, they have instituted a combined-arms approach, integrating ground, aviation, and logistics elements to every unit, under one common command. This has allowed them to deploy quickly and efficiently within a few days to anywhere in the world. This structure is geared around a “infantry-centric” philosophy, meaning that every capability is in direct support to troops on the ground. The Marine Corps opposes the idea that any one piece of equipment or technology can win wars, and therefore, all of their tactics revolve around the infantry aspect of each unit.

This “infantry-centric” philosophy is also evident in the “Every Marine a rifleman” doctrine – where no matter one’s occupation in the Corps, all individuals are trained in basic rifle skills. This is probably most evident during the events of Wake Island, when all of the Marine aircraft were destroyed, and the Marines present continued the fight with small arms.

Their amphibious tactics and ability to oppose asymmetric forces has been useful ever since their formation in 1775; they have played a role in every major conflict since. Although some Marines served in the European Theater in WWI, they would become an invaluable force in the Pacific Theater – in places like Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan and, of course, Iwo Jima – and they continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the Global War on Terror.

With 182,000 Active and 38,500 Reserve units, the United States Marine Corps is the smallest of all five Armed Branches of the United States Military, but they have been an influential force since the birth of our nation – whether it was in performing security duties aboard naval ships, or raising the flag at Iwo Jima after a week of, literally, fighting an uphill battle.

The Marine Corps may be small, but is strong. The Marine Corps is also unique in its view of those who have gone on before them. Where members of other branches may refer to themselves as “former members”, the Marine Corps has an unspoken philosophy of “Once a Marine, always a Marine”. So maybe they aren’t the smallest of all the five branches. We must not forget those Marines who may no longer be active duty, but still wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor with pride. Semper Fi, Marines: Happy Birthday.